New Mutant Monday # 52 - Pengnasher

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 4d8
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 90’ (30’)
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 1
Attacks:  1 Bite
Damage: 2d4
Save: L2
Morale: 4
Hoard Class: N/A

Through some twisted genetic alteration caused by radiation or toxins, these typically docile, little flightless birds mutated into tiny monsters with a voracious appetite. Physically, they are about the same size as their ancestors, typically standing about two feet in height and weighing in between ten and twenty pounds. When their mouths are not open, they have the same overall appearance as their ancestors.

In fact, these little creatures will use that to lull any would-be meals into a false sense of security, allowing the pack to surround the victim (aka meal) before the creatures reveal their true nature. They will start the attack by letting out a communal roar, opening their shockingly large mouths and screeching. This has the effect of un-nerving the target, who must make a saving throw with a -1 for every 6 creatures in the pack (round to nearest). If the saving throw fails, the target will suffer a -2 to initiative and to hit in combat.

They will then attack. Not all creatures will be able to attack at once, instead only a maximum of eight will be able to surround a humanoid sized creature. Larger creatures will increase the number of members of the pack to attack, the ML having the final say.

The bites are very painful and on a natural 20, the creatures will tear a significant chunkof flesh and muscle from the victim, inflicting an additional 1d2 points of Strength loss. The loss will remain until the damage is fully healed and the victim is then allowed to heal the strength loss at their natural healing rate per day.

Targets that are smaller than the creature are in far more danger, as they can be swallowed whole on a natural twenty, instead of taking Strength damage. If this occurs, the victim will take 1d6 points of acid damage per round as the creature digests them. They can escape by cutting out of the belly, which is only possible using natural weapons, as they are too confined by the size of the stomach.

Normally these creatures are usually found in cold climates, but since they have turned carnivorous, they had to find new locations to hunt. They are never found inland, only staying on the shoreline and in the water, no more than a kilometer or two away from the shore. They have been found all along the shores of South, Central and North America. So far this is the only place they have been found, but it is more than likely only a matter of time before they reach Europe and Asia.

They also do not pair-bond like their ancestors. Instead the biggest, meanest and hungriest of the males will fight and kill would-be rivals. He will then mate with all the females, who will produce 1d3 eggs each. All the members of the pack will then sit on the eggs and wait three weeks for them to hatch.

If any of the hatchlings are not that of the alpha male, he will consume them, leaving the others. They grow quickly, reaching maturity in only three months.

Mutations: Aberrant form (natural weapons), bizarre appearance, dietary requirement change (meat), shriek (modified)